I spent much of the past week trapped in a hotel room with a jacuzzi.
I was upgraded to the hotel room with the jacuzzi because a pipe burst above the room in which I was initially housed, so I had to make a move. "And for your trouble," said the desk clerk, with great enthusiasm, "we'll upgrade you to a room with a JACUZZI!"
"Oh, how wonderful!" I replied. Except that I didn't really care one way or the other. What's the big deal? It's a large bathtub. I guess I never got the memo explaining what's so great about jacuzzis.
My new super-deluxe room also featured this chair:
I definitely didn't get the memo about what this chair was supposed to do, or why its presence in my new room was a feature, not a bug. But never mind; it came with this purportedly helpful remote control:
Where to begin? "DreamWave" sounded a little too flaky; "Quick," in the hotel room context, sounded, well, a little too cheap. So I sat down and hit the "FullBody" button. Things started to move. And when the pouches around my wrists and ankles began to inflate in an apparent death grip, I turned it off in a hurry.
My kids have been watching a lot of "Dr. Who" lately, and I like to think I know an alien invasion when I see one.
But then there was that jacuzzi, facing me every time I walked past the bathroom, reminding me that I was supposed to be luxuriating therein. Now, I just have to say, luxuriating in general has never been my strong suit. I have missed the memos on manicures, pedicures, facials and massages: I don't care for any of them. (To tell you the truth, I'm not a fan of any activity that makes me sit -- or worse, lie -- still for more than, say, 20 minutes. In fact, I'm writing this blog on a treadmill desk. I kid you not.) But the sense that I was missing something finally got the better of me the night before my departure, and I took the plunge.
But I definitely did NOT get the memo on how to use the thing. Here's the control panel:
First I hit the “On” button, which lit up the screen, but nothing more. Then I hit the “Up” button a couple of times, figuring that would be a way to get things going. Nothing. I tried the “OK” button – as in the sense of “OK! All righty then!! BRING IT ON!!!” But the jacuzzi was not impressed.
So I pushed the little HOME key, and that did result in some action – on the screen, if not in the water. The first thing that the jacuzzi did was to ask me my preference for the “Dry Cycle.” Which confused me even more. Because while I know very little about jacuzzis, it has always been my impression that Dry is not the point.
Finally I resorted to hitting the keys in a more or less random pattern. After a bit the screen announced it was on “20% Massage” (20% of WHAT, exactly?) and the water started to move. I hit some more keys, and it eventually reached “90% Massage” (for the record, indistinguishable from "20% Massage"). Overall, there was very little massaging going on; really, it was like being in the bathtub with a very exuberant, splashy toddler. A NOISY toddler, at that.
Eventually I tired of the noise and the splashing, hit the “On/Off” button, and climbed out, a wetter woman, but no wiser. And I am still left with the question: "Jacuzzis: WTF???"
If you know -- send me a memo.